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Published:May 3rd, 2007 07:47 EST

Crazy Like A FOX

By Sean Stubblefield

Yet again, FOX prematurely cancels an interesting new show. DRIVE-- the story of a dozen Americans compelled by a mysterious puppet master to participate in an underground, illegal cross-country road race for various reasons-- has been ended after only 3 of six filmed episodes (the pilot was 2 hours, so it might be 4 eps). Like fight clubs and secret government projects, the concept of DRIVE is one that is “realistic“, the kind of thing we might suspect is going on behind the scenes.

It’s something that could happen, and is happening for all we know.

Premiering on April 15th, FOX aired its last episode of the series on April 23rd, because of low ratings.

As usual for FOX, the quirky new show was not given sufficient time to develop or find its audience.

The FOX network has a reputation for idiotically abandoning their innovative and unconventional programming.

It is amazing, really, that series like X-Files and House managed to continue passed one season.

Let’s consider, in no particular order, FOX’s cancellation record with unusual but excellent shows:

Millennium… much like the Original Star Trek, lasted 3 seasons.

Firefly… 10 out of 13 episodes

Wonderfalls… 13 episodes

The Inside… aired 10 of 13

Dark Angel… 2 seasons

Tru Calling… 25 of 26 eps

Justice… 12

Keen Eddie… 13

John Doe… 21

In several cases, FOX could not even care enough about their own shows to air the last episode or three and attempt some kind of closure for their series. And they presumably expect US to care?

I can’t help but wonder why anyone would still bother shopping their shows to FOX, or why FOX bothers to procure these new shows only to discard them so frivolously. Clearly, they are more concerned with immediate profit over long term. Quantity (ratings and money) is more important to them than quality.

Doesn’t matter to FOX how good a show is or might become… if it doesn’t generate instant revenue, then it‘s gone. They don’t care anymore about a show than the degree to which it can bring them dollars.

With all the crap on TV--just on FOX alone, we need all the quality programming we can get, and DRIVE was one such offering. The public needs to support these kinds of shows at every opportunity, simply to redeem the medium from the status of “idiot box” and help safeguard the art of story telling.

But maybe the responsibility for the quick demise of shows like DRIVE isn‘t only with FOX, but a public so unimaginative and cynical that they are unable to appreciate a fairy tale, and too stifled by attention deficit, laziness and apathy to do something so simple as commit themselves to regularly watching a show.

If you care about a story, you’re going to want to keep track of it. But you have to care enough to care.

Perhaps you’ve got better things to do, like playing World of Warcraft, or rearranging your sock drawer, or looking for hot girls/guys?